Daily rituals included my grandfather, a.k.a. Pop, toting his hand radio and thermos of hot coffee to the beach. No matter how hot the sun, he always said it cooled him down. After a long day at the beach Gram and Aunt Betty, her identical twin, would sip a cold beer on the porch. Though she denies this today, I remember it vividly.
Pop's evening drink was chilled Lambrusco, a jug of Riunite always tucked in the fridge. It's fun for me to see now in 2012 this light- bodied Italian red wine making a comeback. Some things are timeless. Cold beer after the beach is one of the token times I drink it and while I'm not a member of the Riunite on ice fan club, I've been building my cocktail couture in order to carry on another drink tradition bestowed upon me my by my mother.
My mom loves her Manhattan, and anyone who knows her, knows that. It's a ritual — stirred (NEVER SHAKEN or she sends it back), rocks on the side with one cherry (cherished equally as much as a kid loves the one atop a sundae) nestled in the soft "V" of a chilled martini glass. At my house these glasses lived in the freezer. Like dessert my mom gets her Manhattan treat. It's the classic recipe but she skips the bitters. Always has. This simple tweak makes this recipe my mom's Manhattan.
Did your parents have a daily cocktail hour? Do you remember your dad pouring himself the same Scotch every night? We'd love to know. What did your parents drink?
My Mom's Manhattan Recipe
2 ounces whiskey (My mom's choice is Canadian Club.)
2 ounces sweet vermouth
Maraschino cherry, for garnish (the ones with the stems look nicer and are easier to enjoy)
In a cocktail shaker filled with ice add whiskey and sweet vermouth.
Stir until well chilled.
Strain into a chilled martini glass, and garnish with one maraschino cherry.
Serve the ice on the side.
Maureen C. Petrosky writes what she knows, food, booze and parties. Author of The Wine Club, she appears regularly on The TODAY show to share her vices (and advice) with the world. For more info check out www.maureenpetrosky.com or follow her on Twitter @maureenpetrosky
More peaches! Playing with Favorites: The Manhattan
(Images: Maureen Petrosky)